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For Alum, Communication Makes it Happen

"I probably wouldn't be where I am today without networking," says Disney Interactive Producer Chris Menezes '10, who has worked—and talked—his way to career success. As a computer engineering student, Menezes knew he wanted to be in the game industry. But he soon learned that while he enjoyed programming, it wasn't his passion. Adjunct Professor Jared Finder helped Menezes discover how his particular talents could best be put to use. "Jared pointed out that as one of the most communicative and social students in class, I was well suited to the role of game producer," said Menezes. "A producer helps an entire team run well—building skills, managing time and morale. Jared built up my confidence and helped me see my potential."

Chris Menezes ’10 puts his talents to work at Disney
Chris Menezes ’10 puts his talents to work at Disney
Photo: Peter Odum

Talking with his professor was just the first step toward success. Speaking up during a field trip to Electronic Arts during his senior year led to an entry-level position in QA with the prestigious studio. There, Menezes jumped at the chance to learn as much as he could by mingling with everyone on the team. After a year with EA, he was hired by Crowdstar to build their QA department, but he knew he wanted more. "I was confused about whether I wanted to be a producer or a designer," he said. "So, I talked with members of the team; built connections; went to industry parties, panels and trade shows; and talked shop with lots of people to learn how people operate in the industry." After a year of working on multiple projects for Crowdstar, Menezes was hired by Disney as associate product manager taking charge of the content pipeline for one of their social games. Last September, he was promoted to producer on a new game (currently under wraps), managing the art and audio, in addition toserving as a liaison between Disney and LucasArts.

Menezes credits his meteoric career trajectory, in part, to all the talking he's done over the years. "Wherever I am, I always talk about video games. You never know where connections will lead you."